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What: Shares of Weight Watchers International (NYSE:WTW) were showing off their new figure today, rising as much as 27% after a better-than-expected first-quarter earnings report.
So what: Despite falling revenue, the weight-loss specialist cut costs to deliver an adjusted per-share profit of $0.31, much better than expectations of $0.09. Sales fell 16.6% in the period to $409.4 million, but that also beat estimates of $399.2 million. As recruitment appears to be stabilizing, CEO Jim Chambers said, "We are encouraged by the progress we are making on our transformation plan, but there is still a great deal of work to do."
Now what: Total paid weeks declined 13.7%, indicating that its customer "traffic" did not fall as much as the revenue slide may indicate. Weight Watchers is facing competition from new calorie-tracking free mobile apps, among other entrants, and the company has introduced its own app to widen its appeal. As a result of the strong quarter, management raised its full-year EPS guidance to $1.45-$1.70, ahead of estimates at $1.40. While the guidance boost is promising, I'd like to see the double-digit revenue declines disappear before jumping in.
Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Weight Watchers International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.